Choosing the proper shoe

Parts of the shoe

Heel Counter: Surrounds and controls heel as your foot strikes ground. Therefore needs to be sturdy. To check, squeeze heel of shoe, if easily crushed – may not provide sufficient support.

Shank Support: Extends from heel to ball of foot. A shoe with a solid rigid shank is better. Prevents buckling of shoe, which may cause arch strain.
Arch Support: Support arch and prevent sagging.

Upper: Leathers and suedes get brittle when exposed to moisture and wear, can cause irritation of foot and toes. Nylon is lighter, more porous, does not shrink.

Toe Box: Portion of shoe covering toes – should be of adequate height so as not to put pressure on toes. The toes should be able to move freely and curl.

Forefoot: Should be flexible. Hold shoe in your hand placing fingers on toe section – the shoe should flex fairly easily with pressure of a few fingers.

Sole: Should be durable. Consider your running or walking distance per week. Black carbon rubber most durable but does not provide much cushioning. If you run <10 miles per week shoes may become stiff and lose shock absorption.

Last: Foot mold on which shoe is made-gives shoe it’s shape:

  • Straight: Gives more arch support good for over pronators (pronation = flat foot).
  • Slightly Curved: Offers less support, generally for the person who runs biomechanically efficient.
  • Curved-Least Stable: Predominantly running flats or speed shoes.